Ancient Monuments

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Two hut circles and associated field systems and enclosure at Mousehill Brake

A Scheduled Monument in Malborough, Devon

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Latitude: 50.2257 / 50°13'32"N

Longitude: -3.8253 / 3°49'31"W

OS Eastings: 269894.044974

OS Northings: 37784.908139

OS Grid: SX698377

Mapcode National: GBR QF.272V

Mapcode Global: FRA 28WF.FJV

Entry Name: Two hut circles and associated field systems and enclosure at Mousehill Brake

Scheduled Date: 16 October 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020573

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34883

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Malborough

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Malborough All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes two hut circles, parts of field systems of medieval
and earlier dates, an enclosure, and a post-medieval field clearance
cairn. It is located on a steeply sloping, south facing valley side
overlooking the sea at Soar Mill Cove.
A long straight field boundary runs at an angle up the valley side from
the stream to Hazel Tor, measuring 3m wide and up to 2m high with vertical
stone slabs set in it edge to edge, forming a fence. The earthwork
enclosure abuts the lower side of this boundary and is `D'-shaped,
measuring 50m long and 40m wide across the visible earthworks. Its banks
are from 9m to 15m wide, rising 0.3m from the interior and falling up to
3.5m to a shallow outer ditch with a slight counterscarp bank. Within the
enclosure is a hut platform, 11m across and 1m high. Two medieval lynchets
with scarps up to 2m high, cut across the enclosure and continue for 160m
to the north west and 40m to the south east, where a later field clearance
cairn lies at its end. Some 40m west of the enclosure, a hut circle 12m in
total diameter with walls 2m wide and 0.8m high lies on a low platform
just south of the lynchets, while a second hut circle with similar
dimensions sits on a low platform 100m east of the enclosure.
A ruined 19th century shippon which abuts the long straight field boundary
at its south east end is not included in the scheduling.
The modern fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Stone hut circles and hut circle settlements were the dwelling places of
prehistoric farmers. Most date from the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). The stone-
based round-houses consist of low walls or banks enclosing a circular floor
area; the remains of the turf, thatch or heather roofs are not preserved. The
huts may occur singly or in small or large groups and may lie in the open or
be enclosed by a bank of earth or stone. Frequently traces of their associated
field systems may be found immediately around them. These may be indicated by
areas of clearance cairns and/or the remains of field walls and other
enclosures. The longevity of use of hut circle settlements and their
relationship with other monument types provides important information on the
diversity of social organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric
communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a
substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

The two hut circles, field system and enclosure at Mousehill Brake survive
well and will retain stratified and environmental information relating to
their construction and use.

Source: Historic England


MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)
MPP fieldwork by R Waterhouse, Waterhouse, R, (2000)

Source: Historic England

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